How To Start A Catering Business At Home – THIS TITLE MUST BE ORDERED IN FULL CASE PACKS ONLY – see Product Details for case pack information
Catering continues to be an expanding industry. The author is one of our best-selling home-based business authors and an experienced chef with extensive knowledge of the hospitality industry. The spring of 2014 is a perfect time to make the seventh revision of this title to update any old information and expand the role of social media.
How To Start A Catering Business At Home
This book title, How to Start a Home-based Catering Business, ISBN: 9780762796410, by Denise Vivaldo, , published by Globe Pequot Press (July 1, 2014) is available in paperback. Our minimum order quantity is 25 copies. All standard bulk book orders ship FREE in the continental USA and are delivered in 4-10 business days. Expedited shipping is also available.
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The catering industry attracts many entrepreneurs. Maybe you’re a good cook, maybe you love throwing parties, or maybe you’re interested in event planning and want to get the ball rolling with catering.
Or maybe you’re like Dannella Burnett, of Gainesville, Georgia, who founded her catering business in 2009, and your reason is simple and sweet:
How To Start A Catering Business From Home: A Step By Step Guide
“I figured if I could cook for other people and put food on their plates, I could put food on my family’s plate,” Burnett said of his decision to start Oakwood Occasions.
But as Burnett learned even in the nascent stages of starting a catering business and expanding into event planning, business is about more than putting food on plates. It’s about thinking your way through stressful situations, planning for the unexpected, and most of all, running a business like you would anyone else.
In this guide, we’ll take you step-by-step through everything you need to know about how to start a catering business. With a little help, you’ll be delighting guests at parties, events, and festivals in no time.
Before you go through the following steps to start a catering business, note that you must decide on the type of catering business you want to start before knowing how to start a catering business.
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Some caterers only do cocktail reception drinks and small finger foods, some do buffet-style catering, and some do the sit-down catering you see at banquets or weddings. Once you know what type of catering you want to do, you can proceed to the next steps.
Once you have the type of catering business you want to start in mind, you can proceed to choose a name for your business and also define the entity for it. You’ll want to choose a name and make sure it’s in the state where you’re opening your catering business. In most states, you can check business name availability online with the Secretary of State.
You also need to choose the business entity that you want your business to operate under. Here you have several options depending on a few things, including whether you want it alone or not.
If you decide to operate as a sole proprietor, your business will not be incorporated and will be solely owned by you (or you and your spouse). If you want to have a partner for your business, or you want to avoid taking on all personal liability for your company, you can choose to register your business as a general partnership, a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership, a limited liability company, or other business entity. Each offers different protections for partners and the business.
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Once you’ve chosen your business name and entity, the next step in the “how to start a catering business” checklist involves writing a business plan. It takes some work, but it will pay off in the long run because you have a plan to fall back on and it helps you know what to expect while running your business.
You can use a business plan template or you can create a plan yourself. When you create the plan, it should include a little research. You will want to include an overview of your company, an analysis of the market, your business organization, the specific products and services you will provide, and your marketing and financial plan. If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry – you can always add to your plan as you learn more about the world of the catering business.
Importantly, however, you should also research your competition and identify potential customers. Is there a particular type of catering needed in your area that is currently underserved? For example, if you live in an area with many golf courses, you may find that they often need caterers for weekend events. Your market research on the needs of your area may help you to grow your business.
Part of your business plan on how to start a catering business should also include the vendors and suppliers you plan to use. Look to find all the supplies you need, including linens, utensils, china, even tables and chairs for some events, and of course the food. When it comes to non-food items, Burnett suggests renting first, before buying items.
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“In the beginning, you can rent whatever you want or need,” he said. “And renting is good: You know what it costs and you don’t have the initial cost of buying something.
“But at some point, even if you want to buy the things yourself because you can still charge for them and you’re basically paying for owning them. And they ultimately pay for themselves. “
When it comes time to buy, equipment financing can give you the funding you need to cover the cost of supplies.
Depending on the business entity you choose, your business name may be your name. If you want to change that, you may need a DBA or “business as” name. You will want to register your business and its name in the state where you plan to operate.
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For a catering business, since you are handling food, it may also require other registrations depending on the rules in your state. The health department may need to inspect the area where you cook and prepare the food you serve, for example.
You will also want to apply for an employer identification number also called an EIN. You can apply for one online from the IRS in just a few minutes and enjoy the benefits of having one for years to come. It can serve as a business tax ID number and help you perform other business tasks such as applying for a credit card and paying your employees.
As with most industries involving food preparation, you can’t, well, do it. You must obtain a business license from the state, as well as a food management license. You’ll also need to pass a county or state health inspection—a residential kitchen probably won’t cut it, so consider finding a commercial kitchen that’s already approved.
Other requirements you may want to consider include workers’ compensation insurance and permits or licenses to work in certain areas—monthly or annual costs that can cut into profit margins.
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If you are not sure what is required, contact your local Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Development Center, or the Small Business Administration to learn more.
It is not a bad idea to consult a lawyer in your area who specializes in the food or service industry for help with filing everything and getting all the registrations before starting to cook.
Pricing your work depends a lot on where your business is located and what type of catering you do. Many businesses create price tiers that provide a certain level of service and amenities for different amounts. Burnett never took that route.
“I started making custom proposals for people, and I stayed with them for these nine years,” he said. “It takes a lot of time, but many of my suggestions are acceptable, rather than a package deal where it may or may not fit what someone is looking for. If they don’t need something, if it’s not related to their activity, it is not included in their price.
How To Open And Operate A Home Based Business Ser.: How To Start A Home Based Catering Business By Denise Vivaldo (1996, Trade Paperback, Revised Edition) For Sale Online
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